Jaeger-LeCoultre once again highlights the expertise of its Rare Handcrafts “Métiers Rares” artisans with a series of three Reverso watches. Both sides of each piece feature miniature reproductions of paintings by the Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler in remarkable engraving and enamelling. In a fitting commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Hodler’s death, landscapes of mountains and lakes, so characteristic of the painter’s work, were chosen to decorate the case of the Reverso Tribute Enamel. This watch, with its iconic Art Deco styling, features a white gold case that was specially created to serve as a canvas for the enamel miniature.
The three models are each issued in eight-piece limited editions. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rare Handcrafts “Métiers Rares” celebrate the work of Ferdinand Hodler Remarkable guillochage work is featured on the front of the piece. Jaeger-LeCoultre's artisan guillocheur has embellished the dial with the help of a century-old machine requiring considerable expertise and years of experience. The dial’s small lozenges, giving the illusion as though they have been weaved, were created with finesse and delicate rendering. The engraving was then covered in translucent enamel. The colour of which, was carefully chosen to match the painting’s tone recreated on the reverse side. On the reverse of the watch, the handcrafted engraving continues, with lines tracing out an elegant frame for each of the enamelled paintings. This incredible work is unique on each model, enhancing the reproduced paintings, it is also a fitting supplement to the three gadroons so emblematic of the Reverso watch. The Reverso Tribute Enamel series was inspired by Ferdinand Hodler’s masterpiece. To remind one of the majestic serenity emanating from Hodler’s work, artisan enamellers spent more than fifty hours on each watch reproducing the Master’s paintings as faithfully as possible. Each painting presented particular challenges for Jaeger-LeCoultre’s enamellers. The main difficulty emerged from having to feature a large original painting on the 3cm2 surface area of the Reverso.
Lake Geneva with Mont Blanc in the Morning Light, 1918 (74 x 150 cm)
For this oil on canvas, obtaining the exact same pink and gold morning light was essential; it required a lot of effort. A light and very tender grey was chosen for the front of the watch, harmonising with the painting’s colours. As sky and lake seem to blend, this painting’s interesting play of light was expressed through small spots of colour transcribing the landscape’s depiction of peace and quiet.
Lake Thun with Symmetric Reflections Before Sunrise, 1904 (89 x 100cm)
This painting gives prominence to a brighter scenery, the artisan’s work focused on the creation of blue shades revealing the mountains. The way that the transparency of the water lets the rocks appear in a foreground of green shades is truly remarkable, and it inspired the artisan enameller to seek out a pine green colour to decorate the dial on the front. Ferdinand Hodler’s typical work on symmetry can be easily identified through this enamelled work.
Lake Thun, Symmetric Reflection, 1909 (67.5 x 92)
The third painting depicts the Alps mountains’ reflection in the water catching the last day light.The mirror effect and the blue and white shades’ softness call to mind the tranquillity of Lake de Joux. A translucent enamel in light sky blue was chosen to cover the guilloché.